Friday, Jul 04, 2003
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
Opposition parties said that it was wrong of Gen. Musharraf to announce that troops would be sent without consulting the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Parliament or even his own creation the National Security Council''.
In a statement today, a spokesperson of the Pakistan People's Party said that Pakistan played a vanguard role in peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia and Somalia. It was also aware that Washington made a similar offer to India.
``However, since the U.S. went into Iraq without the sanction of the United Nations, it would have been appropriate for Islamabad to take a decision after necessary debate and discussion, weighing what would be gained and what would be lost," the PPP said.
The spokesperson said this was a time when solidarity in South Asia could have been promoted by taking other countries in the region into confidence before taking a decision.
"Unfortunately, Gen. Musharraf was not trained in politics and foreign policy and his fondness for one-upmanship resulted in erratic decisions without the necessary consensus and this was detrimental to the national interest." He said that the commando style go it alone of the General had alienated Pakistan's friends.The contention of the Opposition was that since the U.S. was in Baghdad without a Security Council resolution, the decision to send troops was bound to be a controversial one. They argued that it was in the national interest to have forged an internal consensus and involved Pakistan's neighbours in a consultative process before taking a decision of the magnitude to send two brigades of Pakistan armed forces to Baghdad. PPP said that to announce the decision to send troops to Baghdad on a foreign television channel was insulting to the people of Pakistan and their elected representatives.
The people of Pakistan wanted to see tangible benefits for actions taken. So far the Musharaf regime had ended up with 'peanuts fit for monkeys'.
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